Morning in America
"Prouder, Stronger, Better", commonly referred to by the name "Morning in America", is a 1984 political campaign television commercial, known for its opening line, "It's morning again in America." The ad was part of the U.S. presidential campaign of Republican Party candidate Ronald Reagan. It featured a montage of images of Americans going to work, and a calm, optimistic narration that suggested that the improvements to the U.S. economy since the 1980 election were due to Reagan's policies. It asked voters why they would want to return to the pre-Reagan policies of Democrats like his opponent Walter Mondale, who had served as the Vice President under Reagan's immediate predecessor Jimmy Carter.
The phrase "It's morning again in America" is used both as a literal statement (people are shown going to work as they would in the morning), and as a metaphor for renewal.
Full text of the ad:
|“||It's morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country's history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It's morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?||”|
The ad was written and narrated by ad man Hal Riney, who also wrote and narrated Reagan's resonant "Bear in the woods" ad (titled "Bear") as well as his "America's Back" ad. To many, his rich, avuncular voice represented wholesomeness and authenticity. Bernie Vangrin of Hal Riney & Partners was the Art Director of the ad, which was directed and filmed by John Pytka of Levine/Pytka Productions.
This advertisement won industry awards and praise from the political and advertising world. Republican strategist Dan Schnur said of Riney's work: "Most political advertising hits viewers over the head, while his work makes just as strong a point but in a less confrontational and a more soothing manner." 
References in media
- Bill Bennett's Morning in America is the name of prominent conservative and Reagan cabinet member William Bennett's radio talk show, a direct reference to the ad.
- In the music documentary film American Hardcore, Vic Bondi, of the band Articles of Faith, expresses the ethos of the 80s American hardcore punk movement, presented as opposing Reagan and the mainstream, stating, "Everyone was saying it was morning in America. Someone had to say, 'It's fucking midnight!'"
- The Onion satirised the phrase in its Our Dumb Century collection of mocked-up newspaper front pages from the 20th century, with Ronald Reagan announcing in December 1987 that "It is Late Afternoon in America" and outlining a five-point plan to take a nap.
- In Back to the Future Part II (1989), Marty McFly enters a cafe. A robotic TV screen showing a character in the style of Max Headroom, but resembling Ronald Reagan, arrives to take his order. It greets McFly saying, "Welcome to the Cafe '80s, where it's always Morning in America, even in the afternoo-noo-noon!"
- In an episode of TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000, Joel Robinson is attempting to portray Roy Rogers after watching a Western-themed short film; however, his impersonation soon devolves into random quotations, one of them being, "Well, it's morning in America!" Crow replies, "No, it's not!"
- In the episode of the TV series Mad About You titled "The Glue People", as a favor to Jamie, Paul makes a campaign ad for long shot NY mayoral candidate Brockwell entitled "It's morning in Central Park." After he sees the ad could sway his friends to consider voting for Brockwell over Rudy Giuliani, he eventually regrets making it and compares himself to Leni Riefenstahl.
- In the Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the song "Crisis Averted" references that it is "Morning again in America" when Andrew Jackson is president.
- "Morning in America", a song by Jon Bellion, is presumably a reference.
2016 presidential election
During the 2016 presidential primaries, Republican Party candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both referenced "morning in America" rhetoric in attempts to reflect the politics and spirit of Reagan. Rubio's "Morning Again in America" television ad, which features montage footage of everyday American life in both cities and suburbs, drew widespread criticism for opening with a shot of Vancouver, Canada. Ted Cruz used variations of the phrase throughout his campaign, often at concluding or climactic points in his speeches. After winning the Republican caucus in Iowa on February 1, 2016, Cruz said: "Tonight Iowa has proclaimed to the world: morning is coming." Cruz used the phrase again in a speech in South Carolina as he competed with Rubio for second place in the state's Republican primary election on February 20: "We can bring back morning in America", he declared. Years earlier, Cruz had used a similar line when he spoke at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC): "We will bring back morning in America. That's why we're here and that's the future for the young and everybody else in this country."
In Hillary Clinton's Democratic nomination acceptance speech, referencing the dark tone of Donald Trump's acceptance speech the previous week, she said: "He's taken the Republican Party a long way from 'Morning in America' to 'Midnight in America.' He wants us to fear the future and fear each other."
- "History of Filming Downtown". webpage. Petaluma Downtown Association. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "A brief history". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "Creating Reagan's image", SFGate
- "Reagan Proclaims 'Late Afternoon In America', Takes Nap". The Onion. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- "Rubio campaign ad 'Morning Again in America' features stock footage of Canada". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
- Roberts, Dan; Taylor, David; Siddiqui, Sabrina; Moines, Ben Jacobs Paul Lewis in West Des (2016-02-02). "Donald Trump bubble burst by Ted Cruz win in Iowa caucus". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
- Cruz in S.C.: 'We Can Bring Back Morning in America', retrieved 2016-03-17
- Joseph, Cameron. "Cruz: We'll 'bring back morning in America'". TheHill. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
- Morning in America—link to video on YouTube
- CNN AllPolitics Ad Archive — archive of political ads, including "Bear in the Woods" and "Morning in America"
- "Creating Reagan's image" — the story of how Hal Riney developed the ad campaign
- "Reagan's Paid Political Advertisements, Page Two"
- "Morning in America: The Reagan Election" — background of 1984 election
- Review of the book Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s
- Ad Age: "Top 100 Advertising Campaigns" — "Morning in America" is 43.
- USA Today: "Voters in Ohio give political ads a thumbs down" uses "Prouder, Stronger, Better" as an expert's example of an ad that strikes a compelling theme.
- 'boards magazine: "Why political TV ads suck so hard" cites "Bear" and "Prouder, Stronger, Better" as examples of effective and significant ads in contrast to recent ads.
- ReaganKnight blog includes compilation of links to 1984 'Morning in America' videos.
- Democrats Need 'Conviction Politics' Advocates "Morning in America" type ads for Democrats in 2008.